Moran & Abramson (2014) discuss India capitalizing on the utilization of the English language to gain a leg up in the business world and exportation. Currently, there is no national language of India making English the second most popular language after Hindi (Menon, 2019). Out of 1.3 billion people, 2% speak English attributing to a large amount of people who are able to communicate with foreigners (Menon, 2019). By having English as one of the most common languages in India, they believe that they have an advantage in the business world and recognize this trait as adding to their success.
The English language is so prominent in India that their democracy and judicial system use English in all of their documents (Johnson, 2013). The utilization of English is recognized by the constitution as the language of the law (Johnson, 2013). This is due to the fact that there are 22 recognized languages in India and they therefore believe that Hindi and English are the languages, which will be most easily understood (Johnson, 2013). They also believe that educated people who seek out official documents speak English, which creates a societal gap in India.
The educated citizens of India believes that English being one of the primary languages of their country has helped with their economic growth. They are a more individualistic culture, which differs from countries such as China (Penn State, n.d.). This is seen by their prioritization of making it easier for foreign businesses to communicate and make deals than to establish Hindi as their national language. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi believes that “English is one of India’s economic strengths”(Menon, 2019). This is because there is never a language barrier. Any disputes are never lost in translation. People are able to openly communicate
Not all Indians agree with the idea that there should be multiple languages. In fact people were upset by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s comments (Menon, 2019). Their belief is that Hindi needs to expand and grow. They highlight the importance of having a national language. Without a national language they believe they could lose what makes them culturally diverse. As of now English is a requirement in India for a white collar job. Establishing an even larger divide between rich & poor (Masani, 2012). Indians therefore believe that the focus should be on creating business opportunities for people who speak Hindi rather than focusing all their economic energy on companies run by the English language.
It’s interesting reading about India’s acceptance of English being a prominent language in their county. It shows that they are open to other cultures and are willing to utilize other languages to help with business relationships. This is directly related to understanding other cultures and having the willingness to be adaptable. India believes their adaptability is contributing to their economic growth. This is something that leaders need to take note of in order to follow India’s path to success.
Johnson (2013). Tamil in the courts. Retrieved October 29th, 2019 from https://www.economist.com/johnson/2013/04/11/tamil-in-the-courts.
Masani, Z. (2012). English or Hinglish – which will India choose? Retrieved October 29th, 2019 from https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20500312.
Menon, H. (2019). Did Modi just weigh in on India’s “national language” debate? Retrieved October 29th, 2019 from https://qz.com/india/1715862/modi-says-english-is-one-of-indias-economic-strengths/.
Moran, R.T., Abramson, N. R. & Moran, S.V. (2014). Managing Cultural Differences. Ninth Edition. Abingdon: Routledge.
Penn State (n.d.). Cultural Comparison of China and India. Retrieved October 29th, 2019 from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/2008449/modules/items/27027000.